On Sunday morning 12 missionaries will depart from St. Alban’s. While we aren’t setting out to convert some far away people to Christianity, we are instead bringing the Good News of the gospel to Tazewell County, Virginia.
St. Alban’s has participated with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP) for several years now. Each year ASP helps thousands of families rebuild, repair, and restore a basic element of survival, their homes. In fact, last year over 17,000 missionaries helped to spread the Good News of Christian charity and love. Founded in 1969 by United Methodist minister, Rev. Glenn “Tex” Evans, ASP has sent over 300,000 missionaries into some of the most depressed and disadvantaged counties in the United States.
Many missionaries talk of the transforming power of the gospel. But just about every missionary is transformed, in some way, by the experience of their mission. Like any good work done, and like our faith lives, the more we put into the effort of doing, praying, living more fully the life that Christ calls each of us to live, the more we receive from God. So it will be with us who are setting off this week for Tazewell County. We will leave St. Alban’s cleaner, more rested, and more anxious than when we will return. My hope for our missionaries is that at the end of each day, as we pray the Office of Compline together, that we feel a sense of having done God’s work in the world, coming to know God in a deeper way.
This year St. Alban’s is sending out into the world:
Simon Bautista, Jr.
Please keep us in your prayers this week as we travel, as we work, as we learn and as we are transformed by the love of God.
In Christ’s Name,